Here we are! The final ENG 513 novel: Persuasion. While I did get further in this one than I did in either Mansfield Park or Emma, I still didn’t 100% this one. Why? I think I was just done with school at that point, and the book was not necessary for me to write my final paper, so I didn’t really see the point in finishing it. (I know, I know; I’m a terrible student.)
I did enjoy this novel more than I enjoyed either Mansfield Park or Emma, but it just wasn’t interesting enough to grab my attention.
Warning: Even though this book is over 200 years old at this point, I still feel compelled to warn you that there will be spoilers in this small write-up. If you’re not willing to have a two century old book spoiled for you, I suggest you bail out now.
Least Favorite Character: Lady Russell. I’m not a particular fan of people telling me what I can and cannot do with my life, and in my opinion, Lady Russell screwed everything up for Anne Elliot, the main character, when she said that she couldn’t marry Commander Wentworth.
Favorite Character: For once, I am partial to the heroine. I enjoyed Anne’s point of view. She is a little older than Austen’s other protagonists, and she seems to have a really good head on her shoulder. She realizes she missed her opportunity to wed her young sweetheart all those years ago, but she does not let it hold her back. I like how she really does not let anyone boss her around (too much, that is), and that she is willing to forgive others when they ask her for it. I feel that she ends up getting the short end of the stick, though. Even though she ends up marrying Wentworth, her husband will eventually be called away to naval duty and Anne will have to be left at home. Wentworth may not ever come back, either, especially if there’s a war going on when he’s called up.
Rant: I wanted to slap Louisa whenever she popped up. Her entire demeanor reminded me of those popular girls in high school, always giggling and making others look at them in order to ascertain that every drop of attention was always focused on them. It’s no way to live your life. Honestly, I was expecting Louisa to die when she falls off the steps, and it would have served her right. A concussion works just as well, I guess, but I do feel bad for the poor fellow who proposes to her while she’s bed-bound. Once she regains her legs, he’s going to regret that…
What I Wanted More Of: I’m not exactly sure.
What I Wanted Less Of: Again, like with the previous category, I’m not sure. This could be chalked up to me not finishing the book, and instead relying on Wikipedia and SparkNotes…
Final Thoughts: I like the way Austen wrote this book. It really shows how she’s matured over the years as a writer, and there aren’t really any overpoweringly awful people in this novel.
So, what did I learn from reading all six Austen books over the course of the semester? I’m not a fan of Jane Austen. Sure, some of her books are interesting (I will maintain that Northanger Abbey is my favorite), but the world could do without Mansfield Park. I read all three of the first books assigned, but did not finish the last three. I chalk that up to my professor saving the worst for last, and me already being over 100% done with the semester by the time I got around to reading the last three books.
What about you? Are you an Austen fan? Do you think I should give these books another shot in the future? Do you think my opinions need some help? Let me know in the comments!
And as always, keep reading.